Spoke-Fin_Prototypes-3

Null Winds has been dedicated to lessening the soul-killing effects of head and cross-winds on your ride. After creating an upper wheel fairing that lessens the drag from spokes “fanning” the wind against your efforts resulting in a claim of 20% more speed for a given effort, inventor Garth Magee has just launched a Kickstarter to fund tooling for his newest weapon against drag, the Spoke Fin. This patent pending invention snaps onto the round spokes of your existing wheelset and swivels freely to go with the aerodynamic flow – boasting a drag coefficient reduction of more than 50% in both headwinds and crosswinds. Learn how these little fins will stop your next windy ride from being such a drag after the jump…

Spoke-Fin_Prototypes

Not quite the half-bladed, half-round spoke concept we saw at Interbike, the Spoke Fin is a snap-on tail fin for the outer end of your spoke, with a larger fairing for the exposed nipple. While the traditional bladed spoke helps riders to cut through direct or near-direct headwinds, in the case of a crosswind its profile causes drag due to flow separation turbulence across the forward facing blade rigid profile. The Spoke Fin seeks to improve upon the idea of a traditional rigid bladed spoke by swiveling with crosswinds while the wheel is in motion, thereby lessening the separation turbulence.

Spoke-Fin_Render

Spoke-Fin_Prototypes-2

The Spoke Fin model going to tooling features a break-away retaining ring to keep the fin snug against the rim. If you act soon, you can get your own set of 64 Spoke Fins in your choice of black or red nylon for only $25 delivered by Summer. Get your aero on at Kickstarter.

Nullwinds.com

47 COMMENTS

  1. So they claim 50% drop in drag coefficient. So what? Any “wing profile” has a lower drag coefficient than round. The question is does it reduce total drag. You see a drag coefficient is only useful with other numbers like cross section. You can have a low Cd but if your section is wide your overall drag is high. Conversely you can have a high Cd and small cross section and have low drag. A plane has low Cd but it still takes a lot of effort to move it through the air. A Spoke has a high Cd but because of it’s small cross section is easy to push through the air.

  2. “20% more speed for a given effort”? So instead of 20 mph I’ll be going 24? I’m in before the UCI bans ’em.

  3. 20% decrease compared to a standard bladed spoke?
    Would love to see the “theoretical” data on that.

    BTW..what happens when one of these fins falls off while going down the road at a high rate of speed? Lawsuits.

  4. huh. so, i have to pay $25 for a set of 64 fins? I only have 3 spokes total, though, between my disc and trispoke. I might wait to version 2.

  5. I think if I were trying to raise thirty thousand dollars I’d find a better bike than a Motobecane with toe clips to show them off on. If Manuel Quiros has them on his bike I’d show that. I wish the best of luck to them.

  6. Need independent wind tunnel data. And someone to do the math to see if the aero advantage(if there is one) outweighs the extra weight.
    But wow the idea sounds either really really dumb, or really brilliant. I am leaning towards the former unless I see an independent test proving otherwise.

  7. I don’t mean to be mean but I can see some recumbent enthusiasts buying this product. They are generally people that don’t care about how something looks. The very nature of riding a recumbent dictates this.

    As for the round to tapered spokes, Miche in Italy have been doing this for quite some years now. They buy Sapim spokes (I believe) and rework them in their own factory. If this guy has his design patent pending I can only think he has not done his research first.

    As for wheel fairings, spoke fairings and the like, the HPV guys might buy a few. Otherwise some good industrial design might help to refine the designs so they don’t look, so, well….ridiculous?

  8. Total product development fail. Total data acquisition fail. But if you’re the type who wants to knock nearly a minute off your hero commute by attaching these to your motobecane to offset the drag of the parachute rain jacket, helmet mounted rear-view mirror, and glorious neckbeard… win.

  9. I assume if they swivel in a slight crosswind, they will rotate so the tail is facing down at the 9 o clock and 3 o clock spokes if you ride slow enough.

  10. @dude bravo for not letting the predictable old bikerumor armchair expert cynics contingent down. How dare people try to invent something new!

    Now about those spoke fins, they look like they might stop spinning when the spokes get grimy, and would be a Hassle to maintain.

  11. Will they spend a fortune on online ads and trade show booths only to end up with an embarrassingly underfunded Kickstarter campaign again? Entertaining times.

  12. What about the frictional drag as the turn round at the leading and trailing edges of the wheel.

    Surely these should be mounted on ceramic bearings to offset that drag???

  13. Guys… read kickstarter… actually 20% mentioned near Fairings, not the Spokes… so, please correct “ad article”

  14. @Craig Also, we recumbent enthusiasts don’t care for arbitrary limitations on aero improvements (read “UCI”), and we don’t embrace bad ergonomics. (Though this product is not for me, I’m more in the ergonomics camp than aero.)

  15. Would these work on a gravel grinder, and if so would I need to change my gearing to offset the increase in speed?

  16. what about the violent winds produced on the other side if they work so well. will you be able to knock down fellow racers behind or to the side of you?

  17. Kickstarter Campaign 2% funded…. upper wheel fairings: Unsuccessful.

    hmmm…well they can’t all be winners.

  18. Hey! Who wants to fund my new DIY cardboard full wheel skirts that simply zip-tie to your fork and frame. My brain computer says you should be like 74.2% faster and it will cut down on the noise that you don’t hear your spokes making which will increase that 74.2% by another 9.65%. Trust me folks, I’ve thought about this a little bit and I’ve convinced myself that it’s a good idea. Just send me $30 and I will call you with instructions about how to cut and zip-tie the cardboard to your bike. For an additional $15, I’ll give you partial instructions on doing the same thing to your car so you can get to your next ride faster. For some reason all the banks have laughed me out the front door and I can’t understand why so I’m going straight to the consumers pocket for funding.

  19. Black? Red? Seriously, why are they only available in 2 of the slowest colors? Forget it, I’m not contributing to the kickstarter of anyone who hasn’t even figured that out yet.

What do you think?